When Challenges Arise, Remember Your Resilience

Jessie Ace avatar

by Jessie Ace |

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A numb, weak leg. Yay. Another thing to add to the list of crappy challenges I’ve had to face this year.

If you ask me, it’s all been a bit too much, and I’d like to get off this ride and get my money back, please.

I recently rang my nurse in a panic, thinking I was at the mercy of another relapse. I’ve had these symptoms before, just not to this extent. The nurse was convinced it was a flare, but we won’t know for sure until I have another MRI. In other words, I don’t know if it’s being caused by new lesions on the brain or an exacerbation of my current symptoms.

Welcome to another endless chapter of life with MS!

Recently, I’ve been finding it harder and harder to lift my left leg. It’s difficult to get one leg in front of the other without collapsing into a wall or somebody nearby.

Dealing with my leg suddenly having no strength made things interesting.

This particular flare was scary because it was the first time my “invisible illness” had been visible, and it was very different from the sensory relapses I’ve had before.

This time around, I’d been prescribed another medication, amitriptyline, to help reduce the numbness. Amitriptyline came with some unique side effects I hadn’t experienced before.

The two that most affected me were a random patch of itchy skin on the back of my shoulder, which I couldn’t reach, and balance. I’d never taken a medication that made me lose my balance before.

With loss of balance and my leg making me fall into things, people must have thought I was certainly drunk.

When challenges like this arise, I become stubborn. I’ll ask myself, “How can I?” For me, this is essential to build problem-solving skills.

The most annoying thing is when people ask me, “Why don’t you just ask someone else to do it for you?” That tells me they aren’t acknowledging my strength and resilience.

I’d be happier to hear, “You’ll find a way, Jess. You always do.”

Others might think that choosing the easier option is best, and that’s fine. But I don’t. It’s up to me to decide how I view and react to things.

I have a lot of discipline, which sometimes drives me crazy because I end up doing everything myself. However, my mom brought me up to be independent, and I will forever love her for that.

I believe that when things get tough, we can always find a way to get through them.

“The truth is, everything will be okay as soon as you are okay with everything. And that’s the only time everything will be okay.” — Michael Singer 


Note: Multiple Sclerosis News Today is strictly a news and information website about the disease. It does not provide medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. This content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this website. The opinions expressed in this column are not those of Multiple Sclerosis News Today or its parent company, BioNews, and are intended to spark discussion about issues pertaining to multiple sclerosis.


Pat Morris avatar

Pat Morris

I have suffered from heat related effects for years. Because of it I moved to Maine when I retired. Unfortunately though, on a warm day I was playing tennis outside, became light-headed and nauceous; I was sweating profusely while no one else was. I felt the unbearable fatigue, cognitive issues etc. not long after. Since then I have had the same experience on several occasions in too warm an environment. Has anyone else experienced a change in their heat-related MS effects? Did they ever change back?

Annie avatar


You are so brave and positive, good luck to yoi

Diane Altukhaim avatar

Diane Altukhaim

Great perspective, Jessie. Independent women teach children to be strong and independent. Wish more mothers taught that lesson. It is hard to have to accept help, but I have to pick and choose my battles or pay the price in overdoing it later!
I can relate to every word you wrote. Thanks!

Kelly Ingraham avatar

Kelly Ingraham

same, but with right leg. ??

Kim Ahmed avatar

Kim Ahmed

Great article, Jess! I can totally relate as I have had a bum left leg for 18 years!


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